This version (04 Apr 2023 03:58) was approved by Zuedmar Arceo.The Previously approved version (04 Apr 2023 03:48) is available.Diff

EVAL-CN0555-EBZ User Guide


The CN0555 is a two-stage, USB-powered, RF low noise amplifier that is optimized for receiver signal chains in the 433.92 MHz industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band. It provides a gain of 40 dB through its RF band of operation using two ADL5523 amplifiers cascaded together, boosting signals for various communication protocols such as ISM, MC-GSM, W-CDMA, TD-SCDMA, and LTE .

It includes a high-speed overpower cutoff that protects sensitive downstream equipment connected to the receiver system and automatically turns back on when the RF power level drops within the acceptable range.

Designed to be used with the ADALM-PLUTO, the EVAL-CN0555-EBZ features a small form-factor with dimensions of 25.4 mm × 50.673 mm x 1.5748 mm (PCB only). The reference design uses standard 50 Ω SMA coaxial connectors for its RF signal path — for easy integration with any RF systems; a female connector is used for the RF input and a male connector is used for the RF output. Coplanar waveguides are used for the RF traces on the board, which have a characteristic impedance of 50 Ω. A micro USB connector is used for the input power, allowing the evaluation board to use most +5 V wall-wart power supplies available in the market.

 Figure 1. EVAL-CN0555-EBZ Reference Design Board

The CN0555 reference design features the ADL5523, which is a high performance GaAs pHEMT low noise amplifier. It provides a high gain and low noise figure for single down-conversion intermediate frequency (IF) sampling receiver architectures, as well as direct down-conversion receivers. It is easy to tune and only requires a few external components. The device can support operation voltages from 3 V to 5 V and the current draw can be adjusted with external bias resistors for applications requiring very low power consumption.

The ADL5904 is a dual-function RF TruPwr detector that operates from dc to 6 GHz. It provides rms power measurement along with a programmable envelope threshold detection function. The RMS power measurement function has a 45 dB detection range, nominally from −30 dBm to +15 dBm. The rms power measurement function also features low power consumption and an intrinsically ripple-free error transfer function.

 Figure 2. EVAL-CN0555-EBZ Simplified Block Diagram

Reference Design Hardware

Primary Side

 Figure 4. CN0555 Primary Side

SMA Connectors

The SMA connectors are used for the RF input and output connections.

  • J1 is the RF Input SMA female connector that would be connected to an antenna.
  • J2 is the RF Output SMA male connector that would be connected to a radio or piece of RF equipment.

LED Indicators

The reference design uses two LEDs to indicate its current status.

  • The Red LED (DS1) lights up when an overpowering event occurs.
  • The Green LED (DS2) lights up when the power is present on the board.

 Figure 5. LED Indications of Board Status

Secondary Side

 Figure 6. CN0555 Secondary Side

Power Supply Connector

  • P1 is the micro USB port used to provide 5 V power to the board.

Getting Started

Required Equipment


  • Two (2) micro USB power adaptor or micro USB to USB cable for powering ADALM-PLUTO and EVAL-CN0555-EBZ
  • One (1) SMA male-to-male cable
  • One (1) SMA 10 dB RF attenuator


ADALM-PLUTO Preparation

Firmware Loading

  1. Unzip the downloaded file.
  2. Connect Pluto to host PC or laptop using a micro USB cable in the terminal with a USB symbol.
  3. Open the Pluto mass storage device.
  4. Open the unzipped firmware file.
  5. Copy the file, pluto.frm, to the Pluto mass storage device. Figure 7. Copying Pluto Firmware to the Pluto Mass Storage Device
  6. This will cause LED1 to blink rapidly. This means that programming is taking place. Do not remove power (or USB) while the device is blinking rapidly. It takes approximately four minutes to properly program the device.
  7. Once the device finishes programming, it will reappear as a mass storage device.
  8. Eject (don't unplug) the Pluto mass storage device. Figure 8. Ejection of Pluto Mass Storage Device
  9. Now, the USB cable can be safely disconnected from the PC.

Updating to the AD9364

  1. Connect again the Pluto to host PC using a micro USB cable.
  2. Open any serial terminal application (e.g., TeraTerm, Putty) and set the SSH to, the username is root and password is analog. Figure 9. Serial Terminal Configuration
  3. To change parameters to the AD9364 configuration, enter the following commands line by line:
    # fw_setenv attr_name compatible
    # fw_setenv attr_val ad9364
    # reboot

    Figure 10. AD9364 Configuration

  4. Eject (don't unplug) the Pluto mass storage device.
  5. Then, the USB cable can be safely disconnected from the PC.
  6. Connect Pluto again to PC using a micro USB cable and proceed with the hardware test setup following the instruction in the next section.

Test Setup

Normal Operation

Figure 11. EVAL-CN0555-EBZ Test Setup

  1. Connect directly the RX port of ADALM-PLUTO to J2 of the EVAL-CN0555-EBZ
  2. Connect the Tx port of the ADALM-PLUTO to J1 of the EVAL-CN0555-EBZ using a male-to-male SMA cable.
  3. Connect P1 (micro USB) connector of the EVAL-CN0555-EBZ Board into a PC USB port or 5 V USB charger.
  4. Connect the micro USB to USB cable to a PC/laptop and the other end to the ADALM-PLUTO data port.
  5. The DS2 LED of CN0555 will automatically turn on, indicating the board is powered on and is in operation.
The ADALM-PLUTO can be configured using an IIO Oscilloscope, visit the website on IIO Oscilloscope to learn more about the tool.

IIO Oscilloscope

Make sure to download/update to the latest version of IIO Oscilloscope found on this link
  • Once done with the installation or an update of the latest IIO Oscilloscope, open the application. The user needs to supply a URI, which will be used in the context creation of the IIO Oscilloscope and the instructions can be seen in the previous section.
  • Press refresh to display available IIO devices, once the ADALM-PLUTO appeared, press connect.

Figure 12. IIO Oscilloscope Configuration

  • On the AD936x tab, set the required parameters for the CN0555 to operate properly.

Figure 13. ADALM-PLUTO Settings

  • Using the capture window, you can see the RF output of the CN0555 in the frequency domain.

Figure 14. CN0555 RF Output

Schematic, PCB Layout, Bill of Materials

EVAL-CN0555-EBZ Design & Integration Files

  • Schematics
  • PCB Layout
  • Bill of Materials
  • Gerber Files
  • Allegro Board File


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End of Document

resources/eval/user-guides/circuits-from-the-lab/cn0555.txt · Last modified: 04 Apr 2023 03:57 by Zuedmar Arceo